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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Portrait of an artist

    Jake Lacey / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Ruben Moreno has art hanging in many student frequented areas, including Epic Cafe and Solar Culture.
    Jake Lacey
    Jake Lacey / Arizona Daily Wildcat Ruben Moreno has art hanging in many student frequented areas, including Epic Cafe and Solar Culture.

    Who: Artist and future graphic novelist Ruben Moreno

    What: Moreno has paintings all over Tucson – in Epic CafǸ, Che’s Lounge, Solar Culture, Heart Five and more.

    Bio: Moreno began painting in 2001, and has since graced the pages of the Tucson Weekly, various local restaurants and bars and has done murals such as the one on East 33rd Street and South 10th Avenue.

    Wildcat: What inspires you?

    Moreno: I guess life events. Personal things that happen to me and people around me. A turmoil within my family or friends that have passed away. Those two things I’ve touched on.

    W: What art inspires you?

    M: Egon Schiele. He’s an amazing painter around the turn of the century. He actually was friends with Gustav Klimt at one point. As far as symbolism goes, I love Frida Kahlo’s work.

    W: What artistic mediums do you work in?

    M: Mainly oil now, but I’ve worked in everything. You name it. (I use photography) only as a step to get to a finished piece, for reference. Mostly digital.

    W: What makes you a unique artist/gives you a unique voice?

    M: I don’t give in to one style. That’s one thing I feel very strongly about. There are so many beautiful styles in the world, and I hate to just pick one and do it over and over again. Getting placed in a gallery is difficult for me, but every painting is a different emotion, and I think it deserves its own style.

    W: What is your most recent work?

    M: It’s a piece that I did for trade actually. I don’t even have it anymore. It was in oil and it was a painting of a Mayan. It was called “”Wind Catcher.”” That piece (took) about 15 hours, it was pretty involved. He was jumping off a cliff trying to catch an eagle.

    W: When did you start making art?

    M: All my life actually. I started probably about 4 or 5 years old. It was everything from drawing comic books to coloring contests. I started painting in the year 2005. Mostly I did illustrations before that.

    W: What piece that you’ve done are you most proud of?

    M: Well, it’s probably one of the pieces at Epic. The one with the two people standing. It’s my first painting. I’m still trying to achieve what I captured in that one. I’ve been really proud of the work I’ve done for the Tucson Weekly. I did the “”Best of Tucson”” issue. The cover and all the inside feature. I also got to do the rant issue. I did all the illustrations in that one. They had a contest for the “”Best of Tucson.”” Several artists competed and they chose my idea. They decided to have me do everything.

    W: Do you collaborate with other artists?

    M: Not much, unless it’s mural work. You know, something really large. Then I have a lot of artist friends that like to help out. I had a grand mural at El Indio restaurant, but it got covered up. It faded, it was more than 10 years old. The owner wanted me to repaint it, but he didn’t like my price. I have a new one on (East) 33rd Street dedicated to my grandfather.

    W: What do you think of Tucson?

    M: I love Tucson, I’m a native. I think it’s a great town that doesn’t get enough credit. I always read about other places that we’re trying to emulate. And uh, I think they’re just kind of losing the idea that we don’t have to be like other places, cause we’re already a great place.

    W: What’s next for you?

    M: More paintings. I’m never gonna give that up; I wanna be prolific. And writing a novel. I’m beginning a process of writing an actual graphic novel, which is a long comic book for adults. If I’m not working, I’m at home painting and drawing.

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